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A View from The Bothy...

A Plan for all Seasons...


In previous blog posts we’ve discussed the delicate balance between running a successful business and remaining a traditional, ‘dyed in the wool’ gardener; the reliable soul with muddy boots who turns up once a week to mow the lawn and prune Mrs. Miggins’ roses.

As a nostalgic vision, it’s rather endearing.

But this is the 21st Century. The whimsy of living the happy-go-lucky self-employed or small business life can mean that some end up putting just £15 worth of fuel in the van - because that’s all they can afford. They may even struggle to do their tax return because they haven’t kept any records; just a carrier bag full of receipts. It happens.

For this reason, now that the weather has become a little less conducive to getting out in the garden for eight hours a day, it’s a good time to start planning what you have lined up for 2022.

And for this you can use the humble Gantt chart as a seasonal work planner.

These can be easily created on an Excel spreadsheet (apologies if we’re preaching to the converted), and once you’ve set the template for week numbers and seasonal tasks you can easily adapt the format for each customer and/or site to set out your visit schedules and planned works.

The beauty of using this approach means that for each task you can enter the agreed price per item and discuss frequencies with your client. You can then issue copies of the planner to everyone concerned so your team members will know what to prepare for, while your client will know when everything is due and what to expect on their monthly invoice.

For your business, you’ll be able to forecast income and expenditure, generate accurate invoices and plan material purchases, machinery hire, servicing and holidays.

Using Excel, you’ll also be able to link information from individual pages onto a master workbook, which will then enable you to see your monthly income and expenditure at a glance.

Sounds like a plan…